Smokey BBQ Kale Chips

Smokey BBQ Kale Chips

Smokey BBQ Kale Chips

It’s taken me a while to post these smokey bbq kale chips because every time I make a new batch we end up eating them before I get a chance to shoot them!

They are THAT good.

I literally had two mouths hovering in the background while I was shooting this batch, and it’s fair to say both Nick and Chewie agree they’re the best kale chips they’ve ever eaten.

That may not mean much coming from Chewie being a dog and all, but Nick is not usually one for super healthy snacks such as kale chips, so that’s a great complement coming from him.

The reason these kale chips are so good is their tangy (almost cheesy), smoked bbq spice coating. This is created from a combination of activated (aka soaked) cashews and sunflower seeds which are then blended with nutritional yeast (for the tangy cheese flavour), lemon juice, smoked paprika, cayenne, turmeric and cinnamon.


Smokey BBQ Kale Chips

The secret to a nice crunchy kale chip is in the drying process. Ideally you’d use a dehydrator but if you don’t own one (like me) you can use your oven set on fan bake on the lowest setting (mine is 60ºC) with the door propped slightly ajar to allow excess moisture to escape and ideally lower the temperature around 46ºC.

The idea with dehydrating is to keep the temperature below 46ºC so the kale remains in it’s raw state and all the nutrients intact. You can get a good idea whether you are achieving this by the colour of the kale. You want it to keep it’s lovely green colour while slowly dehydrating the water out of it.

Once the kale chips and are lovely and crispy, let them cool to room temperature then store in a well sealed airtight container. If they go soft simply put them back in the dehydrator or oven until crisp again.

That’s it! A super simple yet extremely nutritional snack. Use the recipe below as a base from which you can vary the spices to your tastes. For a less smokey batch swap the smoked paprika for sweet paprika, or leave it out entirely and add another spice of your liking.

I hope you enjoy these smokey BBQ Kale chips as much as we do and if you know anyone who’d also enjoy this recipe please share it with them!


Any questions or comments about this smokey bbq kale chip recipe?!

Leave me a message down below!


Smokey BBQ Kale Chips

Smokey BBQ Kale Chips

Makes: 2 bakings trays worth
Soak time: 4 hours Prep time: 30 minutes Dehydrating time: 8 to 18 hours

1 bunch of kale (approximately 8-10 kale leaves)
1/2 cup cashews
1/3 cup sunflower seeds
1 cup filtered water
1 lemon, juiced
1 tsp nutritional yeast
1/2 tsp pink himalayan salt
2 tsp smoked paprika
1/2 tsp turmeric
1/4 tsp cayenne or chilli powder
1/4 tsp cinnamon

Soak the cashew nuts and sunflower seeds by placing them in a bowl and covering with filtered water. Leave to stand for 4 hours at room temperature (or in the fridge if the weather is warm).

Meanwhile prepare the kale by washing well and either use a salad spinner to remove excess water or pat dry with a tea towel. Remove the kale leaves from the thick stems with a small knife or simply by tearing the leaves off.

When the cashews and sunflower seeds have finished soaking, drain off the soaking water and rinse well. Place them in a blender jug along with the remaining ingredients (except the kale leaves) and blend until smooth. You should have a thick, golden yellow liquid. Pour the spice liquid into a bowl.

If using the oven line 2 baking trays and set the temperature to it’s lowest fan bake setting (usually 50 or 60ºC depending on your oven). Alternatively set the dehydrator to 46ºC.

Dip each kale leaf into the spice liquid and use your hands to ensure it’s evenly spread over the entire leaf. Place the coated kale leaves on the baking or dehydrator trays ensuring they’re not overlapping to allow air flow.

Place the trays either into the dehydrator or the oven and prop the oven door ajar with a large wooden spoon handle. Dehydrating kale chips in a dehydrator takes 16-18 hours and in the oven around 8-10 hours or overnight. The kale chips are ready when crispy.

Store in a well sealed, air-tight container at room temperature for up to 1 month. If the kale chips go soft, simply return to the dehydrator or oven until crisp again.

Purple Kale Chips (Dragon Wings)

Purple Kale Chips (Dragon Wings)

Purple Kale Chips by Swoon Food


Kale is one of those vegetables I used to see in the supermarket and never know what to do with so I simply didn’t buy it. That is until about a year ago, I was assisting on a photo shoot and was asked to cook some kale. Turns out it’s pretty simple, and after some further research I discovered there are a HEAP of different ways to use it! My two favourite are in green smoothies and the subject of this blog post, purple kale chips.

Kale is definitely having its moment in the spotlight. It’s now recognised as being a powerhouse of nutrients, particularly antioxidants, that support the immune system, reduce inflammation, stimulate natural detoxifying enzymes, help prevent cancers and heart disease, and protect your cells from damage and skin from ageing. Woop woop! What more could you ask for in a vegetable?!

I usually buy purple kale whenever I see it because it’s just so pretty and reminds me of something you might see on a coral reef under the sea. Turns out purple kale is even better than the green variety because it contains anthocyanins which are responsible for the purple colour (the same nutrient that blueberries and cranberries contain), which have even more powerful antioxidant properties. Yay for purple kale!


Purple Kale Chips (aka Dragon Wings!)


These kale chips are great to have on hand whenever you feel the need for something salty and crunchy. Obviously not quite as healthy as eating kale raw, say for example in a smoothie, but definitely way better than deep fried potatoes!

Unfortunately, as you can see in the next photo the purple kale loses its lovely purple colour after cooking, but it turns an interesting mix of green and orange which kind of reminds me of dragon wings ….(too much Game of Thrones?).

The secret to really great, crunchy, kale chips is to make sure you dry them really well after washing. The best device for this is a salad spinner (if you have one), followed by a clean dry tea towel. Enjoy!


Did you like this blog post? Any questions or comments about the Purple Kale Chip recipe? Leave me a message in the comments section below, I would love to hear from you!


Purple Kale Chips aka "Dragon Wings"


Purple Kale Chips aka Dragon Wings

Makes: 2 bakings trays worth
Prep time: 10 minutes Baking time: 15-20 minutes

1 bunch of organic kale
1 Tbsp organic extra virgin olive oil
1 tsp organic tamari soy sauce
1/2 tsp himalayan pink salt
Sprinkling of chilli flakes
Sprinkling of garlic powder

Preheat oven to 150°C fan bake and line at least two baking trays with either baking paper or silicone mats.

Carefully pull the purple kale leaves off the stems so that you have chip or bite sized pieces. Discard the stems.
Wash the purple kale leaves and then either use a salad spinner or a clean dry tea towel to dry the leaves thoroughly (this is the secret to crispy kale chips!).

Once dry, place the purple kale leaves in a large bowl and add a tablespoon of olive oil. Use your hands to massage the oil into the purple kale leaves ensuring they are thoroughly covered.

Next sprinkle over the tamari, salt, chilli flakes and garlic powder and once again massage in the seasoning to ensure all the chips are covered.

Spread the purple kale leaves onto the prepared baking trays, making sure they are in a single layer and not over crowded (another secret to crunchy chips!). Place the trays in the oven and bake for 15 – 20 minutes. Judge the time by how the chips look, they should be crunchy but you don’t want them so withered and dry that they no longer resemble kale.
Remove the chips from the oven and leave to cool on the trays to ensure they crunch up nicely. Stored in a sealed container at room temperature, these purple kale chips should last a good couple of weeks.


Purple Kale Chips (aka Dragon Wings!)